The real domino effect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) February 6, 2012 - 12:00am


Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has been full of surprises in the last couple of months. First came his announcement that the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations should be given a chance. Then came the reconciliation agreement between Fateh and Hamas, which was followed by Meshaal's confirmation that he would not run for another term as director of Hamas' political bureau. And last but not least, he and his family left Syria and now he is looking for a new shelter for Hamas' headquarters.


Blair, PM Working to Enable Continued PLO Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - February 3, 2012 - 12:00am


Quartet envoy Tony Blair is involved in intensive talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about putting together a package of economic gestures to keep the Palestinians directly engaged with Israel in low-level talks in Jordan. Blair has met at least five times with Netanyahu over the past two weeks, including twice on Wednesday.


Abbas to Resume Negotiations For Goodwill Gestures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 2, 2012 - 12:00am


RAMALLAH, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an international suggestion that Israel offer a package of goodwill gestures in exchange for resuming direct peace talks, sources said Thursday. Abbas informed the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers that the economic gestures were not enough for the Palestinians to accept the resumption of negotiations, which have stopped in 2010, the sources said.


The Middle East Quartet: A Post-Mortem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Brookings
by Khaled Elgindy - (Analysis) February 1, 2012 - 12:00am


It has been ten years since the four most powerful players in the Middle East peace process— the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations—came together under the diplomatic umbrella known as the Quartet. Formed in response to outbreak of the Second Intifada in late 2000 and the collapse of peace negotiations a few months later, the Quartet appeared ideally suited for dealing with the seemingly intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.


Another exercise in futile diplomacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Efraim Inbar - (Opinion) January 30, 2012 - 12:00am


Few should be surprised by the failure of the Amman talks, which constituted an additional attempt by the international Quartet to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. These meetings were intended to break the impasse in the peace process, after the Palestinians decided to relinquish the option of negotiations with Israel and to adopt instead a unilateral approach to attain their goals.


"We will negotiate with Hamas if they halt terror"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
January 24, 2012 - 12:00am


Israel will negotiate with a Palestinian unity government if Hamas agrees to Quartet conditions and dismantles its terror infrastructure, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with Israel Radio Tuesday. "The continuation of the peace process is in the interest of Israel, the Palestinians and the world," Barak said. "If Hamas adopts the Quartet's conditions and dismantles its terror infrastructure, we will negotiate with them."


Abbas' disheartening European voyage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Opinion) January 23, 2012 - 12:00am


During his visit to Berlin and London this week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ mood was identical to the weather in Western Europe. Grey, bleak and depressing. The Germans and the British received Abbas with nearly all the pomp and circumstance due a head of state but even the shower of respect they rained down on him did not succeed in encouraging him.


Toddling to talks about talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
(Analysis) January 21, 2012 - 12:00am


NO ONE disagreed with the cautious assessment of King Abdullah of Jordan that “little baby steps” had been taken when Israelis and Palestinians met several times in Amman, the king’s capital, in early January to see if there were grounds to resume full-scale peace talks that might one day lead to the peaceful coexistence of two states. Even this tentative diplomatic toe-dipping was fraught. Big grown-up strides still seem a long way off.


Playing for time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) January 16, 2012 - 12:00am


Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is currently managing two very different and in many ways contradictory negotiating tracks. Neither has produced any sort of substantive success thus far. If one does produce a breakthrough, the other will probably collapse. Meanwhile, the counterpoint between them is instructive.


Report: Quartet asks Israel for incentives to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 10, 2012 - 12:00am


TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Quartet envoys asked the Israeli Prime Minister to provide "confidence-building measures" to keep Palestinian officials in talks after the end of the month, Israeli media reported on Tuesday. PLO official Saeb Erekat met Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman on Monday, in the second round of unofficial, closed-door talks hosted by Jordan.



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